Hey, local Republicans, Sarah Palin's in town! Wanna get an up-close look at your favorite no-nonsense Main Street Wasilla hockey mom? You betcha do.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Joe Six-pack and her $400 glasses will be attending a Republican fundraiser Sunday morning at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, and unless you've laid out several thousand dollars or more, you're not welcome.

You can swing down to the Hyatt, however, around 10 a.m. or so if you want to counter-protest the Palin protestors who plan to show up and gesture ineffectually at her limousine.

Here are some suggestions for signs: "Moose. It's what's for dinner." "Hockey moms do it without protection." "Peninsulans 4 empty catchphrases." "Seriously, we're having moose. Dig in."

Incidentally, you could tell the McCain camp tried hard to come up with a zinger for Palin that would resonate with viewers of Thursday's debate and dominate the postdebate spin sessions.

Their best shot appeared to be "Say it ain't so, Joe." (Palin seemed to betray her team's fondness for the line when, immediately after uttering it, she quoted Reagan's famous quip to Jimmy Carter, "There you go again.")

But Palin's attempt at lighthearted chops-busting fell with a bit of thud, partly because of her hurried delivery and partly due to the fact that it was followed, in a way that seemed overdone, by the Reagan line and "doggone it." It felt shoehorned into the discussion.


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The Insider got the impression of someone who's got a really good card but, fearing she won't get another good chance to play it, plays it too early, in a situation that doesn't quite call for it.

The problem with trying to rehearse lines like that is they are, at their best, unrehearsed. In a 1989 interview with Jim Lehrer, Ronald Reagan claimed he came up with his iconic takedown of Carter on the spot.

In fairness to Palin, she held up pretty well against Biden, though her winking, "aw shucks" delivery — as a substitute for actual information — wore thin by the end. Now she'll retreat to her isolation chamber 50 feet below the tundra, where she'll remain until Nov. 5, aside from the occasional campaign rally, accessible only to family members and Fox News correspondents.

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Around the horn — Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, held a town hall meeting by telephone Thursday night before flying back to Washington to vote for the bailout bill.

Using public records, Speier's campaign dialed 45,000 numbers in the congresswoman's district. The call, which was focused on voters' concerns about the Wall Street bailout, lasted about an hour. It was the third time she's held a meeting with constituents by phone.

A high of about 5,000 callers were on the line at any one time, according to Mike Larsen, Speier's director of communications.

After voting Friday in favor of the $700 billion bailout agreement, Speier sent out a statement saying it's time for Congress to "reassert its constitutionally mandated oversight function."

Beginning on Monday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on which Speier has a seat, will hold a series of hearings investigating the causes of America's financial crisis, beginning with the failure of Lehman Brothers.

For more of the Insider, visit www.ibabuzz.com/insider.